Some bikers skip riding in Sturgis this year

“I tried to stay away from it."
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 7:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Many motorcyclists come to South Dakota because of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, but some of them said, they don’t have to be in Sturgis to enjoy the ride.

“I tried to stay away from it (Sturgis),” Michael Rovelli, a motorcyclist from New Jersey, said.

“Just checked it out, that’s enough,” Steve Dugo from New Jersey said.

Both Rovelli and Dugo, along with their friends, traveled here together as a group. They have already driven through Sturgis but didn’t want to stay around in the Rally town.

“Where else you get the scenery? That’s what we’re here for,” Ed Jakubowski, another member of this group, said.

Jakubowski is originally from New Jersey but is visiting from Montana to meet up with his friends. This group also took a symbol of a pal who couldn’t make it to the Rally.

“This is Carlos,” Manda Jakubowski introduced a doll, “Carlos passed away in a motorcycle accident. And he planned on coming out to Sturgis, so we made sure he came. His ashes are here with us, and he got the miles he wanted.”

By cruising down the Black Hills, this group of riders realized their friend’s wish.

“You’re here in South Dakota, [it’s the] first time for me. It’s a trip of a lifetime, you gotta do what you gotta do,” Michael Rovelli commented on why they choose to skip Sturgis, but they are not doing so out of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would say waking up in the morning is a concern, I mean, out on a bike, get in a car, an airplane, and everything.” Ed Jakubowski added.

Another group of riders from the West Coast is also choosing to stay away from the hustle and bustle centered in Sturgis, weighing the potential COVID-19 risk that comes with such large crowds.

“We knew it would be a little risky to come out, so we kind of isolated ourselves, stay away from the big crowds.” Adam Morris, a motorcyclist from San Francisco, California. His riding buddy, Randy Festejo said they only go into the city to pick up groceries and beverages.

“Last night we had a light show of thunderstorm and lightning and kind of just float across the horizon into the sunset, it’s just gorgeous. You don’t miss going to town when you got that in your hands.” Festejo explained that they believe the ride is about seeing the scenery on the road.

Regardless of their reasons, they are proving that the Rally means more than just the city of Sturgis -- and that sometimes, even the coolest events and vendors can’t beat the great outdoors.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.